Assessing Professional Knowledge : Indiana

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


The state should use a licensing test to verify that all new teachers meet its professional standards.

Meets a small part of goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Assessing Professional Knowledge : Indiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Indiana's policies

Indiana only requires all new elementary teachers to pass a popular content test from the Praxis series that combines both subject-matter knowledge and pedagogy in order to attain licensure.


Recommendations for Indiana

Require that all new teachers pass a pedagogy test.
Indiana should verify that all new teachers meet professional standards through a test of professional knowledge for secondary as well as elementary school teachers.

Verify that commercially available tests of pedagogy actually align with state standards.
Indiana should ensure that its selected test of professional knowledge measures the knowledge and skills the state expects new teachers to have.

State response to our analysis

Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it has contracted with Pearson to develop all new licensing exams, including a pedagogy exam. Pearson is already in the process of developing a customized pedagogy test to align with Indiana's new developmental/pedagogy standards. The projected implementation date is September 1, 2013.

Research rationale

For evidence of the importance of pedagogy tests in improving student achievement, see C. Clotfelter, H.Ladd and J.Vigdor, "How and Why Do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?"  Working Paper 2, Calder Institute (2007).

For further information regarding the use of performance assessments and the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) in California and other states see L. Darling-Hammond, "Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: How Teacher Performance Assessments Can Measure and Improve Teaching" Center for American Progress (2010). 

For a perspectives on the issues with teaching dispositions, see W. Damon, "Personality Test: The dispositional dispute in teacher preparation today and what to do about it" in Arresting Insights in Education Vol.2 No. 3 (2005);  J. Gershman, "'Disposition' Emerges as Issue at Brooklyn College," New York Sun, May 2005.

For evidence on the low passing scores required by states on pedagogy tests, see the U.S. Department of Education's Secretary's Seventh Annual Report on Teacher Quality (2010). Also see K. Walsh "A Candidate-Centered Model for Teacher Preparation and Licensure" in A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom (Hess, Rotherham and Walsh, eds.) (2004)